By: Katrin Tomson-Johanson
On: 9 March 2020

Low Cholesterol Levels in Boys Predict Impulsivity in Adult Men

Traditionally, cholesterol levels are associated with elderly people having to watch their diet and possibly take statins to prevent excessive cholesterol in their blood from causing cardiovascular problems [1]. But too low levels of cholesterol can also cause problems. Being an essential building block of both hormones and cell membranes insufficiency of cholesterol can lead to psychopathologies like aggression towards others and self, impulsivity and suicide [2]. Considering that about 25% of the body’s cholesterol is found in the brain it is not surprising that this lipid is associated with behaviour [3]....

By: Laura Muller, Dr. Anne Siegl
On: 9 March 2020

Bipolar Disorder and Lifestyle Steps for Self-Management

Interview with Annett Oehlschläger, author of the book “You can eat stability?!“ After listening to a talk given by Miss Oehlschläger at a conference on bipolar disorder in 2019, and learning how she, as an affected person herself, manages her disorder, I decided to conduct this interview with her to stress the importance of a solid knowledge about one’s disorder, but also about body processes and nutrition. This interview had been conducted in German and translated to English. Miss Oehlschläger, after living with the diagnosis of a bipolar disorder for many years, you wrote a book named “Stabilität kann man...

By: Prokopis Konstanti
On: 13 February 2020

Can the gut microbiome help us treat autism?

Can the gut bacteria help us to fight autism? According to a recently published study, introducing bacteria from healthy individuals into the gut of the children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can markedly improve not only gut function but also the severity of ASD symptoms. ASD affect social interactions and communication, characterized by restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, and activities. Currently, no cure exists for ASD treatment, but some medicines are available and can help with symptoms like depression, seizures, and insomnia. Due to the limited treatment options, scientists are looking for novel ways to treat autism and recently...

By: Dr. Lizanne Schweren
On: 13 January 2020

Feeding the Brain: How Does it Work?

Every day, our brain depends on what we eat. First and foremost, the brain needs tremendous amounts of energy, that can only be derived from food. While the human brain constitutes only two percent of the body’s weight, it consumes twenty percent of our daily energy intake [1]. When we eat too little, our brain is one of the first organs to suffer and send us warning signals: we become irritable, have difficulty concentrating, and feel dizzy or light-headed. In this blog, I will explain how food in your stomach is transformed into electrical activity in your brain cells...

By: Ekaterina Veniaminova
On: 10 January 2020

Insulin in the Brain: Emerging Therapies for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. It regulates metabolism by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood into the liver, fat and skeletal muscle cells. When the blood glucose level is high, the beta cells secrete insulin into the blood, and when glucose levels are low, the secretion of insulin is inhibited. If the pancreas produces little or no insulin, it results in type 1 diabetes, while insulin resistance – a condition in which cells fail to respond normally to the insulin – is characteristic of type 2 diabetes. Insulin signaling in the brain The brain...

By: Dr. Larissa Niemeyer
On: 7 January 2020

The Healing Powers of Your Beliefs

The occurrence of placebo effects has been known for a very long time. A first “trick trial” concerning it took place in the late 1500s when instead of holy water, ordinary water was placed in a religious flask and given to a girl who was said to be possessed by the devil – which caused her to contort in pain. Likewise, when priests read a Latin text to the women, misinforming her that it was the Holy Scripture (while in actuality, it was Virgil’s Aeneid) she nonetheless squirmed in agony [1]....

By: Margreet Bierens
On: 20 December 2019

The importance of vitamin D intake when sunlight is scarce

When exposed to UVB-radiation, the human body produces vitamin D out of cholesterol. Vitamin D is therefore also known as the “sunshine vitamin”. Healthy vitamin D levels in people are thought to play a role in preventing several health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, mood disorders, diabetes and other autoimmune diseases [1]. In most western countries, the beneficial effects of vitamin D are well-established. Pregnant women are even advised to add vitamin D supplementation to their diet to stimulate fetal growth [2]...

By: Prof. Julia Rucklidge
On: 4 December 2019

Should Micronutrient Treatments be Recommended based on Existing Nutrient Levels?

I have noticed a growing number of companies offering to measure nutrient levels and then offering a personalized treatment approach to address deficiencies identified. I have also been sent individual blood results from members of the public and asked whether the results can be used to direct the best treatment. Others contact me and tell me their nutrient levels are “normal” so their doctor told them there was no need for additional nutrients. It is a reasonable question because there are many studies that suggest that people with psychological problems such as ADHD have lower levels of nutrients in their...

By: Annick Huberts-Bosch
On: 28 November 2019

How Does Participating in a Clinical Trial Work?

Meet Tim: he is an 8-year-old boy, living in the Netherlands with his parents and younger sister. A couple of years ago, Tim was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Disorder (ADHD). His psychologist recommended to participate in the TRACE study: this study examines the short- and long-term effects of dietary treatments in children with ADHD. In addition, the TRACE-BIOME study examines the underlying mechanisms of a dietary treatment. For this, we collect blood, stool and saliva samples and we perform a fMRI. These measurements might, among other things, shed light on the role of the brain-gut-axis. But what’s it like...

By: Prof. Julia Rucklidge
On: 26 November 2019

Feeding the Brain Under High Stress

When we are under high stress, we can often reach for foods that are “comforting” (like cookies, donuts, cake, pastries, and chocolate bars), but these foods may not be the best choice for feeding your brain under stressful and demanding circumstances. Comfort foods are often calorie-rich but nutrient-poor. Further, under high stress (and it doesn’t actually matter what has caused the high stress, whether it be a natural disaster like an earthquake or fire, or witnessing something really traumatic), the reactions our body goes through can be quite similar. We release adrenaline. This is part of our natural alarm response...